my goal-leg hair thinner and shorter

my leg hair is dark and kind of longish. would lighsheer laser make my hair looking thinner and shorter after 2-3 treatments? I am looking to reduce thickness of hair

it wouldn’t make it shorter, but it would decrease the density. you’ll need a good tech who won’t miss areas to avoid patchiness.

Be sure to tell the tech that they need to very very thorough because you will only be doing a couple of treatments and missed spots are not acceptable.

I’m doing the same as you. I had a Gentlelase done in eary March on my legs and butt. In the 3 months, the hair has regrown. It is noticably less dense. If it were to stay like this, I probably would not do another. If I were a betting man, I think it will continue to get somewhat denser and I’ll do another treatment in the fall. I’d rather go slowly. I can always get another treatment. I can’t undo a treatment.

Good luck.

so all laser does is reduce dencity of hair? What about thickness? lenght? no effect at all?

it can make the hair finer. for some people it can become shorter, but in a lot of cases, it’s finer but a bit longer. with more treatments, as long as the hair has pigment, that hair can be removed. but with less treatments, you will most likely get a less dense result with finer hair, but possibly longer.

pault, doing a treatment once every 6 months is a waste of time and money. If you do some research, you’ll see that you’ll need 5 to 8 treatments spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart to see permanent results. Your hair that has “regrown” was hair that was not in the proper cycle back in March and you’ve already missed it’s cycle to get it, so the next treatment in the fall will probably miss it again. Going slowly is a bad idea.

I respectfully disagree. When the laser shoots, it is either delivering a lethal dose of energy to the cells in the hair follicle or it isn’t.

To say it another way. Hair that is in anaphase is easiest to kill. Studies suggest approxmiately 20% of leg hair is in anaphase at any given time. If laser hair removal (with a high enough setting) works, most of these hair should be killed and the rest severly damaged. If they have been killed, 8 weeks, six months, or six years; they should never grow another hair again.

“If you do some research, you’ll see that you’ll need 5 to 8 treatments spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart to see permanent results”
4 weeks apart. If you were properly treated, your shouldn’t even be seeing hair growth until 6 weeks has passed.
8 treatments is for someone that wants the area hairless. I certainly wouldn’t want a hairless chest. I just want to reduce the hair in order to see some skin through the hair.

I have had experience in this. I had chest and stomach hair removal. I had 4 sessions in total with a ND:YAG.

I can only speak from experience.

My last treatment would have been in January, so close to six months.

I have not had a treatment since. My goal was only ever reduction and thinning n shorter. Did I achieve it, yes. The hair is not as dense the remainding hair is thinner and softer, is it shorter no…I just trim it. From a distance it would look that I am hair free…But that I am definately not. I am very satisified with the result.

I now shave a fair bit of my stomach, why because I can…I dont get bad stubble and it still feels like I have no hair even after a couple of days. So, yes it makes your hair thinner. I am very pleased with it…money well spent.

4 sessions would give some pretty good results, especially if properly spaced, although generally a few more may have had some more reduction, although in diminishing returns.

What pault implies is very misleading for those that are not aware of how hair grows in cycles. His statements go strongly against empirical protocols. If others believe his statements that one treatment or even treatments poorly spaced at 6 months are all they need, he is setting up many for disappointing results and more complaints about how laser didn’t work.

Laser can work for many people, but not by following pault’s advice. I doubt that he is basing his statements on any facts that would support his imagination.


I accept and have never agrued that a regime of 6 or more sessions spread 8 to 16 weeks apart(depending upon area treated) may be the best method to achieve a smooth hairless appearance. That is no my personal goal.

Do you believe that laser hair removal can achieve permantent results?

If you said yes, then a single treatment must permanently reduce hair.*

You can’t have it both ways. Each and every session, hair follicles are being killed. I don’t think I can say it any simpler than that.

*Given proper machine settings; hormonal imbalances; no grey, blonde, red etc. All the usual exceptions.

I don’t like to make personal comments about other forum memebers. I want to remind all readers that most of the people posting(including site moderators/administrators) are not medical experts.

Even the “facts” are not beyond question. Very few studies have been done. By medical standards, they were poorly done. They have very few participants. Period studied too short. Most financed by the laser machine companies. etc

I have a suggestion. We need some volunteers to only treat one side of their bodies for a couple of years…

here are some interesting posts on the subject from an MD who owns a chain of clinics in Texas and has been doing this (including some studies himself) for almost 10 years (since lasers first surfaced)

"jim1976 wrote:
I have 3 patches on my left shoulder that now have 50% more hair than the rest of my back, before the patch tests I had equal growth all over. explain that ! I can supply picks to prove.

Very simple to explain. And very easy to prove with hair counts. Pictures not required.

All the hair you are ever going to have is present at birth, but most of that hair is in a dormant stage. It is there but just not growing. It is well known that certain things can stimulate dormant hair to grow. Things like hormonal change, age (which is probably related to hormonal changes), and a host of other issues such as chemical burns and reactions to noxious stimuli.

So you come in for laser hair removal to treat an area that has 50 hairs. But there may be 300 hairs that are dormant. The laser hopefully kills all the hairs and shocks the other hairs into dormancy. This is why there is a period when there is no hair growing (it doesn’t always happen but is what is expected). Then after a period of time, the next crop of hairs start growing. But the energy in the laser can also stimulate hairs that would otherwise be dormant to also start growing.

So instead of having just fifty hairs growing, there may be a hundred. What does it mean, nothing. Other than it helps to make the laser hair removal more effective because now there are more active hairs growing that can be targeted and killed if the settings and the laser are effective.

This experience tends to go away after treatment number three or four, when a significant proportion of the hair is destroyed. But it can look weird and be unnerving in the beginning."

You can find this post here:

"What tends to happen is that what is treated at the surface is not necessarily what occurs at depth. In other words, as a pulse of laser hits the skin, some of the photons reflect off, some scatter, and some hit the target. Furthermore the closer the hairs are toward the middle of the pulse, the more likely they are to be targeted by enough photons to kill them. This means that the farther they are from the center the less likely they are to targeted. This is an edge effect.

Furthermore this effect is compounded by the depth of the hair and the size of the spot. The bottom line being, that one can accurately target and overlap the treatment area, but there is no guarantee that you will be accurately targeting the hair at the base. In fact, given all the various possibilities, chances are that a significant portion of hairs will only get a partial treatment.

This means that those hairs will not be effectively treated and destroyed. Instead, they will grow back but usually will grow back finer (and in some cases longer). But in fact, they can be eventually treated and removed.

Though I would never say that one can remove 100% of the hair, I would also not say that one can not do so. Many people have 100% of the hair in a region completely removed by laser. But the problem is that there are many hairs that are on varying cycles. So, even three or four years after treatment, there will be a few hairs that pop out. But those hairs can be treated. And by the way, this is no different than electrolysis in that respect.

As far as treating very fine hair. It all depends on the technology and the skin type. With the right technology (ie not a diode) and the right skin type, very fine hair, as long as it has pigment, can be successfully treated."

You can find this discussion here:

Sorry pault, but you are just wrong in a practical, overall sense.

Yes, I believe laser hair removal can achieve permanent results because I have experienced it first hand. My best example is a triangular patch on my lower back which has been 100% hair free for six years now from laser treatment only (it was the thickest patch of hair I had treated). I am not financed by any laser machine companies, just a satisfied customer. I am also not a medical expert, but I don’t think that’s needed to see substantial, personal, and obvious results.

I’m pretty damn sure that if I only went for one treatment instead of six, that some hairs would have been permanently killed, but you’d never be able to tell as the remaining hairs would have continued to cover the area. So it would be a total waste of time.

I never implied that a single treatment would not kill any hairs, it’s just that a single treatment will not give anyone meaningful results overall. Also, doing treatments at 6 months as you previously stated, while although killing hairs each time, will be so poorly effective as to again provide very little progress overall.

So I’m just trying to make sure that other readers understand that if they go in for treatments spaced properly for 5 to 8 treatments, they have a chance to achieve very good permanent results. Your implication to do a treatment every 6 months, while although killing some hairs each time, will most likely require many, many years to achieve half the success compared to doing it the recommended way.

I don’t know why someone would want to go slow, spend many times more money, and get poorer results, than to just follow procedures that have proven to be much more effective by satisfied customers over many years (which I would think to be as good or even better a yardstick as medical studies). Everyone has their choice, but I want to make sure that readers don’t fall for a fallacy that your practice is a proper methodology.

This will be my last post on this subject.

The following is an except from an extended discussion in February on another forum between blink888(aka LAGIRL moderator), sslhr, and nchair (both professionals). Discussing fluence, levels, pulse durations, treatment intervals etc. SSLHR is writing this except. Note SSLHR’s reference to ideally waiting about 4 months between treatments.

"The problem is that as the hair gets finer (what normally happens during treatments), there is a need to reduce the pulse width to more effectively treat those finer hairs. And the diode can not be reduced beyond a certain point. A lot of people do well on the diode, so as long as your results are doing well, I wouldn’t worry about it. If your results aren’t doing well, then I would switch to someone who uses an alex.

As far as putting it all the possible settings together, that is well beyond this post. I just wrote a 1,600 word article that is suppose to come out in some jounal called Dermascope (or something like that) about choosing a laser and I only superficially covered those topics. We spend a month training our nurses. Hair removal is a lot more difficult than people originally think. This is one of the reasons why so many places have stopped offering it over the years.

Finally to NChair.

I was wrong about the 30 joules. See the beginning of this quote. Do you like that dual Cynosure laser? And I agree, we never go that high either.

As far as the quote about going over 25 joules not being of much benefit, this was a study using the diode wavelength, not the alexandrite. I agree that on an alex there is more possibility of burning someone. What is important to take from that study and the point I was trying to make is that you need to realize that at some point, there isn’t much benefit in raising power. The incremental increase in effectiveness goes down and the incremental increase in complications goes up dramatically.

I agree that cooling is important, but it is more important for decreasing complications and increasing comfort rather than to increasing effectiveness, which is why I gave it less importance than the other settings. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Finally, regarding the four month wait between treatments. We don’t actually follow it, unless the person is getting poor results. Most clients don’t like to wait that long so we compromise at 8-12 weeks. But I stand by the idea, though I am not going to try to prove it. But you know, you could run a little experiment to prove that I’m wrong. Take the next 20 clients who want to do their underarms and randomly divide them into two groups. One group you treat at your normal interval. The second group you treat 4 months apart. Give them each 5 treatments. Compare their starting hair count to their ending hair count. In two years when you finish this little experiment, you will have proven whether I am right or wrong. You could report back here. BTW, I’ve been doing laser hair removal since June 1997, long enough to have run several of these little experiments."

pault, your first post in this thread, you stated that you had a treatment in March and would go for another treatment in the fall and sounded like an uninformed client. That sounds like six months to me.

Now your saying 8-12 weeks is what you have been applying to your clients since 1997. Very different and not at all in line with your first post.

Then you ask people to do an experiment that you say you’ve already done, but provide no substantial data. I just can’t understand where you’re coming from.

I think everyone that has common sense would agree that performing treatments at the proper cycles would be the most efficient, which is usually closer to 6-8 weeks or so as compared to 4 to 6 months as you’re implying.

Let’s do an analogy. Suppose a Ferris wheel operator at the carnival is trying to empty his wheel at the end of the night. His usual practice is to do one basket emptying each time a basket comes to the bottom. He is hitting each basket at just the right time so that once the wheel has completed a full turn, the wheel is now cleared.

Then he says, let’s try an experiment. After unloading a basket, he’ll let the wheel rotate for a random amount of time without looking and then open the basket that happens to hit at that time. Sometimes he’ll be opening a basket that’s already been emptied, wasting his time. Since he’s constantly playing Russian roulette, it could take an enormous amount of time to finally get that last basket cleared.

So one could get hair removal done quickly and efficiently, or they could play it stupid and spend a lot more time, a lot more sessions, and a lot more money and maybe, just maybe get close to the same results that could have been achieved if done properly.

At least that’s what seems to have been the common knowledge I have seen over the years. I’m just concerned that from your first post that you are suggesting that clients do treatments at 6 month intervals, which I think most would agree is bad advice.

Just to clear something up. pault pasted the words of an MD who owns a chain of clinics in Texas and posts on another forum.